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State’s poor graduation numbers

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By Ralph Damiani

Fewer than six in 10 students graduated from New Mexico’s high schools in 2006, giving the state a ranking of 48th in the nation, according to a report released by the Associated Press.

Education Week’s report found New Mexico’s class of 2006 had a graduation rate of 56 percent. The study showed that an average of 73 students drop out each school day.

The state only ranked ahead of Georgia (55.9 percent), the District of Columbia (48.8 percent) and Nevada (47.3 percent). The national graduation rate was 69.2 percent.

The state Public Education Department said the report showed an improvement over the class of 2005, when New Mexico ranked 50th at 54.1 percent.

Positive spin? We hope not.

Education has been a major focus of this state for many years as Legislature after Legislature, governor after governor pushed for more and more funding.

Yet, it all seems to be falling short. Why?

New Mexico Education Secretary Veronica Garcia said in a release the progress was good but pointed out that the low rate meant “far too many of our children take too long or fail to graduate from high school.”


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